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July 9th, 2015:

Paxton involved in another scam

When it rains, it pours.

Ken Paxton

The name of Attorney General Ken Paxton, facing potential indictment by special prosecutors in Collin County for first-degree felony securities fraud, has surfaced in a federal probe of a company in which he is an investor.

The investigation, first reported late Tuesday by the Associated Press, centers on whether McKinney-based Servergy defrauded investors with false claims about the sales of its data servers and their technological capabilities. According to court filings by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company is suspected of “potential misstatements” about having preorders for the servers from the online retailer Amazon and the semiconductor giant Freescale — and in assertions that the product needed up to 80 percent less cooling, energy, and space compared to other servers on the market.

Paxton’s email address appears with about 70 other contacts in one list of search terms in a subpoena of Servergy from the SEC. His name is also included in an October 2014 letter from Servergy to the SEC describing the search terms used to produce the documents the company turned over in response to a subpoena.

According to Paxton’s 2014 personal financial statement filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, he owns at least 10,000 shares in the company. The SEC filings do not indicate it is seeking documents involving Paxton or the scores of other investors and additional parties.

You can see the original AP story here. At this point, it’s hard to say what if anything this may amount to, and what if any role Paxton may have played beyond duped investor. He’s been duped before, and there’s no reason to believe he’s learned from the experience. So we’ll see. This has already been a bad year for Ken Paxton. It has the potential to get a whole lot worse.

Prepare for your time in the spotlight, Irion County

It’s coming.

No same-sex couples have sought a marriage license in Irion County, but if or when they do the county clerk is willing to fight it in court.

County Clerk Molly Criner has vowed to stand for “natural marriage” and refuses to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit that says it is dedicated to advancing religious freedom, has offered pro bono counsel to represent Criner in court.

“The Justices of the Supreme Court acted outside and against the authority granted to them by the very Constitution that we have sworn to uphold,” Criner said in a news release issued by Liberty Counsel. “Our founding fathers were fearful of too much power in the hands of a few.”

Referring to the opinion of the five justices who voted to allow same-sex marriage last month, Criner said to keep her oath to uphold the Constitution, she must reject the court’s ruling, which she believes is “lawless.”

See here for the background. The Dallas Observer engages in a bit of mischief in response:

Just in case any of you guys are thinking about getting married this week and feel like making a ruckus, you can get to Mertzon, the Irion County seat, by taking Interstate 20 West to TX 206 South. The clerk’s office is at 209 N. Parkview St. After Crimer turns you down, head northeast on U.S. 67 to San Angelo and Irion County’s assigned U.S. District Court, where you can file your lawsuit at the O.C. Fisher Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. The courthouse is located at 33 East Twohig Ave. Godspeed and please email us your photos.

I’d advise packing an overnight bag – it’s a long way from D/FW to Irion. Glen Maxey says on Facebook that a couple of plaintiffs have been identified and details will be forthcoming. I can’t wait. The AusChron has more.

Initial Mayoral fundraising totals

Lotta money being raised out there, though not quite as much as the topline totals say.

BagOfMoney

Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia was first out of the gate with his figures, announcing Tuesday that he raised $1.5 million since announcing his candidacy in May. According to his campaign, Garcia neither contributed his own money nor transferred funds from his sheriff’s account.

Former Mayor of Kemah [Bill] King followed with a statement Wednesday morning saying he raised $1.25 million, $750,000 of which came from donors, meaning King likely supplied $500,000 for his own bid.

[CM Stephen] Costello [who reported raising $1.8 million total] also financed his own campaign to the tune of $250,000 and transferred $262,000 from his city council account, according to his release.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner reported raising $750,000 in the nine days between the end of the state legislative fundraising blackout and the close of the reporting period. Turner started the race with $900,000 from his legislative account already in the bank.

Meanwhile, 2013 mayoral runner-up Ben Hall raised nearly $800,000, according to his campaign, $500,000 of which he donated himself.

Former Congressman and City Councilman Chris Bell ended the reporting period with the lowest number of the group, having raised $400,000.

Businessman Marty McVey and others who have filed to run for mayor have yet to release their fundraising totals.

Couple things here:

1. Money you donated to your own campaign is not money you raised. It’s real money, and it has a real effect, but it is not the same thing. I suspect that the reported self-donation totals here don’t quite tell the full story, but we won’t know until we see the reports.

2. Not all of those “money raised” figures is actual money, whether self-donated or not. In kind donations often make up a big chunk of some finance reports. Some of that represents real value – donated campaign office space, for example, or food and drink for a campaign event – but a lot of it is just plain puffery. Again, we’ll know when we see the reports. Note that the larger the in-kind donation total, the greater the disparity will be between total raised and total on hand, since in-kind ain’t money.

3. The other factor affecting cash on hand, of course, is how much you spent, and on what. Some campaigns wind up spending a lot more on consultants and other things that don’t exactly equate to voter outreach than others.

4. And yes, this stuff matters, which is why I spend time on it. You want to know who a candidate is appealing to, one way or another, finance reports don’t lie. They’re a peek behind the curtain, and no matter how you feel about the process, it’s better to know who’s financially tied to whom. (Nice Cyndi Lauper reference, btw. I always liked that song.)

For now, this is what we know. I will be going over all the reports when they come out, and will have them uploaded and posted to my 2015 Election page for your perusal. I’ll do a few posts summarizing and analyzing what’s in the reports as well. As always, money isn’t everything, but a campaign that can raise it and knows how to use it can be much more effective than one that can’t and doesn’t. Stace has more.

UPDATE: More from Greg.

Teaxs blog roundup for the week of July 6

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the USWNT on its awesome FIFA Women’s World Cup win as it brings you this week’s roundup.

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